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January 31, 2013

Ex-cop's perjury trial postponed

Case moved to March to accommodate witness

NEWBURYPORT — The perjury trial of former Newburyport police officer Daniel S. McCarthy, scheduled to begin earlier this week in Lawrence Superior Court, has been pushed back until March, according to an Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman.

Carrie Kimball-Monahan said a witness to the case was not available, prompting prosecutors to ask for an extension. The new start date for the trial is March 12 in a courthouse to be determined, Kimball-Monahan added.

McCarthy was charged with perjury following the May 2011 road-rage trial of Robyn Stack of Newburyport. McCarthy, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2005, was charged with coaching a witness during the Stack trial and then lying to Newburyport District Court Judge Michael Uhlarik when questioned. A mistrial in Stack’s case was subsequently declared by Uhlarik. Prior to the conversation, Uhlarik ordered witnesses and jurors not to discuss the case with anyone.

Stack died in December of heart failure at the age of 47.

“We’re obviously still proceeding,” Kimball-Monahan said, when asked if her death would impact the state’s case against McCarthy.

In January 2012, McCarthy’s attorney, Douglas A. Louison, attempted to have his perjury case thrown out. He filed a motion to dismiss the perjury charge, stating the grand jury that indicted him in July 2011 did so in error. Louison argued that McCarthy’s action during the Stack trial had no bearing on the case. The next month, a Salem Superior Court judge disagreed and denied Louison’s motion.

Four days after the Stack mistrial in May 2011, city Marshal Thomas Howard placed McCarthy on paid administrative leave, pending completion of an internal investigation. The report was completed in late June and submitted to Mayor Donna Holaday. An attempt by The Daily News to obtain a copy of Howard’s report under the Freedom of Information Act was turned down by city attorneys.

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